December 18th, 2005

coyote

and the rest is well known

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4538788.stm

allegedly, the story is about powell criticising the europeans for pretending to be shocked that the CIA had set up secret prisons all over europe.

on the other hand, it is also about european complicity in US malfeasance, and an admission that these things have been in place for some time.

i liked this bit:


Asked about post-war planning for Iraq, Gen Powell said his state department staff drew up detailed plans, but they were discarded by Mr Rumsfeld's defence department, which was backed by the White House.

"Mr Rumsfeld and I had some serious discussions, of a not pleasant kind, about the use of individuals who could bring expertise to the issue. And it ultimately went into the White House, and the rest is well known."
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coyote

the cook, the thief and .. uh, wait

so, went to see the narnia thang today.

it was fantastic. the whole slip through the back of the wardrobe into the forest was done better than i could have imagined. kept thinking lucy looked like drew barrimore. the animation was fantastic. tilda swinton was astounding - perfectly cast. i was much swooned. linda commented on how every time she killed someone, her mouth parted just a little, like she was having an orgasm. its a pity, methinks, that she gets killed before the final, climactic battle between her and uma thurman. maybe we'll have to wait for kill aslan volume 2 for that.

that said, there's a couple things that bugged me (and these are things that have been percolating in the back of my brain for some time now, that i started becoming cognizant of when watching the third of the LotR movies).

first, there's an uncomfortable amount of the use of stereotyping - the wolves are all bad, the beavers and badgers and non-scary creatures are all good, all the ugly creatures are bad, the pretty or cute ones are good. saw the same thing in LotR - you could generally figure out the goodness or badness of any given person on the screen by their looks. the girlfolk (both human and critter) were all pretty much useless in a crisis situation (except for the white witch, of course), but got to be good nurturer-chicks.

secondly, there's the reinforcement of the concept of divine right (or some variant thereof) - of the order of rightful kings, of noble blood, of rightful class distinctions. some families are born to rule, and that is the way it is, and the way it has been, and the way it should be.

seeing all these movies recently of the books that i read as a kid makes me realize how much these concepts are reinforced, so early in our lives, presented to us as desirable fantasy. it's no wonder we've become rome.